Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

New Feature: Take Inventory

UPDATE: It’s been a big day here at LibraryThing. We’ve now added barcode support for your catalog. Read below or see the blog post for more info on that.

Take Inventory, the best name we could come up with(1), is designed to help members check their physical collections against their LibraryThing catalog. It can be used to see what books have gone missing, or, because a failed search produces a link to add the book, to check that everything in your library has actually been cataloged.

Here’s where to get it:(2)

catalog_menu

Here’s Taking Inventory in action:

inventory

Note that clicking the big, colored circles changes the inventory status(3).

The feature is designed for either manual searching or scanning with a barcode scanner, like our CueCats. You can scan either the ISBN barcode or your own barcode, if you’ve turned on the new barcodes feature for your library. The “flow” is such that you can scan books one after another, without touching the keyboard. Scanning a book marks it as “present.”

If you prefer to type in your searches, it assumes that, if one only one book appears, you want that marked as “present.” (If you don’t, you can click the large inventory circle to change it.) If multiple items show up, you’ll have to mark each one manually. If nothing comes up, you can click to go to Add Books and search for it.

Our original plan was to have this feature on a separate page, but having it within the regular catalog, with the ability to change other fields and sort the data differently gives this method particular power. Note that you can add the Inventory column outside of the “Take Inventory” functionality itself.

This feature was programmed by me (TimSpalding). Chris (ConceptDawg) worked out the color-circles interface.

Come discuss the feature on Talk.


1. The choice of name was exceedingly vexing. I asked both librarians and bookstore people on Twitter, and no consensus emerged. Other options included “shelf read,” “shelf check,” “stock check,” “stock take” and even “section report”!
2. Note that we’ve gotten rid of the special and somewhat odd Tags box. Tags can now be found with all the other pages under the menu it formerly touched. We’re still mulling this over.
3. We like the functionality, but we’re not entirely sure everyone will get this. Your thoughts?

Labels: features, new features, small libraries

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

June Early Reviewers batch is live!

The June 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 97 books this month, and a grand total of 2,935 copies to give out, including a new novel from Salman Rushdie, out this fall. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk!

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, June 29th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and more! Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

MSI Press Kregel Publications Lion Fiction
Beacon Press Medallion Press Taylor Trade Publishing
Prufrock Press William Morrow Humanist Press
Sakura Publishing Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Thurston Howl Publications
Prospect Park Books CarTech Books Velvet Morning Press
Random House Five Rivers Publishing Marina Publishing Group
Gray & Company, Publishers Dream of Things Gefen Publishing House
HighBridge Audio Akashic Books Kaylie Jones Books
Recorded Books Marble City Publishing Bethany House
Small Beer Press Orca Book Publishers Arbiter
Information Today, Inc. In the Garden Publishing Apex Publications
Ballantine Books Chameleon Publishing Inc. Human Kinetics
Bantam Dell Tumblehome Learning Booktrope
BookViewCafe Harper 360 Brandeis University Press
JournalStone Gotham Books Henry Holt and Company
The Plaid Raccoon Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

One LibraryThing, One Book: The Night Watch

This June, we’re finally bringing back One LibraryThing, One Book. June being LGBT Pride Month, we wanted to join in the festivities with our OLOB choice. I give you The Night Watch by Sarah Waters.

Shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, The Night Watch is set in 1940s London during and after World War II. The story follows the disparate lives of five main characters during this period, and the secrets they have in common, although their experiences are different.

Details

Since it’s been a while, here’s a quick refresher on how One LibraryThing, One Book works.

To participate, be sure to join the One LibraryThing, One Book group. That’s where all discussion will be taking place. Say “hi” on the “Introduce Yourself” thread, or tell us what you think as you read over on the “First Impressions” thread.

We’re going to do things a bit differently this time around. Official discussion for The Night Watch will kick off Monday, June 1st at 12pm Eastern. I know that’s nowhere near enough time for readers to have already finished the book—we’ll be breaking this one up into chunks. On June 1st, we’ll only be discussing the book and the events therein through Chapter 3—the 1947 section. LT Staff will be posting a few starter questions right before 12pm that day, after which point the floodgates open and other members are welcome to post their own questions and discussion topics.

From there, we’ll be reading about 150 pages every two weeks over the next six weeks. You can read ahead, of course, but we ask that members keep discussion topics spoiler-free for events beyond the set reading point. Here’s a full list of how we’ll be breaking it down:

  • June 1: 1947 section, all
  • June 15: 1944 section, chapters 1-3
  • June 29: 1944 section, chapters 4-5
  • July 13: 1941 section, all

More

If you’re disappointed we didn’t give members the option of voting on this OLOB pick, don’t worry. We’ll be bringing back voting for future OLOB reads. We just wanted to get this one off the ground quickly.

You can also find more information about what inspired OLOB in our original introductory blog post, and you can see past selections by hitting the One LibraryThing, One Book tag on the blog.

Labels: One LibraryThing One Book, reading

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

New Feature: Advanced Search

A few months ago we introduced a new search syntax, allowing you to execute complex searches like:

tag: history author: gibbon

We’ve now added a handy, “Advanced Search” feature, more like that offered by many traditional library catalogs.

You can find it in the search options in “Your Books”:

Screenshot 2015-05-14 10.48.42

It opens up a box like this:

Screenshot 2015-05-14 10.48.14

When you search it converts your advanced search options into the text syntax, so it’s also a way of showing how that works.

Let us know what you think on Talk.

Labels: new feature, new features, search, small libraries

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

May Early Reviewers batch is live!

The May 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 88 books this month, and a grand total of 2,340 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk!

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, May 25th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Chronicle Books Beacon Press Harper 360
Prufrock Press Humanist Press Henry Holt and Company
Prospect Park Books Bethany House Iron Twine Press
Bookkus Publishing William Morrow Akashic Books
Gotham Books Post Mortem Press CarTech Books
In the Garden Publishing Human Kinetics Firbolg Publishing
EsKape Press Eerdmans Books for Young Readers BookViewCafe
Crown Publishing HighBridge Audio Recorded Books
Bantam Dell Ballantine Books Chosen Books
Booktrope Orca Book Publishers Booktrope
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Congrats to Our Edible Books 2015 Winners!

Thanks to all who entered our Fourth Annual Edible Books Contest! Your confections look amazing, and my only regret is the sugar craving you’ve left in your wake. You can check out all the submissions for this year’s Edible Books Contest over in the “EdibleBooks2015″ tag gallery. Without further ado, I present our winners for 2015.

Grand Prize

This year’s grand prize goes to LT member W.MdO, whose assortment of sugar cookie book covers from iconic works like To Kill a Mockingbird and Catch-22 wowed us all. Iced by hand entirely with royal icing, most of LT Staff agrees, these look almost too good to eat. We’d be willing, though, to save anyone else from having the destruction of such masterpieces on their conscience.

In addition to the requisite fame and glory, W.MdO will be receiving $50 worth in books, hand-picked by LT Staff! We’ll also be sending some LT swag their way: an LT t-shirt or tote bag, an LT library stamp, a CueCat barcode scanner, an LT sticker, and two lifetime gift memberships, to bestow as they see fit. Amazing work!

2nd Place

Our first runner-up award (and the accompanying prestige and prizes) goes to LT member powerfulpotentiality, for their truly magical (sorry) cake, inspired by Annie Sage’s fantasy novel, Magyk. powerfulpotentiality’s work is the spitting image of the tome itself, in cake form—crafted as a hummingbird cake (banana pineapple spice cake, for the uninitiated) with browned buttercream frosting. I’d love to know how our baker achieved the shimmer gold effect on the accents!

3rd Place

Second runner-up honors (and prizes) go to LT member gofergrl84, for their impressively faithful reconstruction of the eponymous cake, from Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half masterpiece, “The God of Cake”—if you haven’t read this yet, go do it, now. Complete with looming caricature of the author in the background and marshmallow animals, we can only wonder how gofergrl84 managed to contain the need for sugar long enough to photograph their work. Well done!

Thanks, everyone!

Winners, be sure to check your profile comments shortly for details on claiming your prizes.

Competition was fierce this year—while it was a small batch, the sheer quality across the board submissions really knocked our socks off. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a special shout-out to StJohntheBaptist‘s heartfelt and detailed pop-up cake, depicting the grand opening of their church’s lending library. LT member marcottm made a beautiful, hand-painted Rice Krispie treat castle, complete with a boy and his dragon, inspired by When a Dragon Moves In. The apple pie shipwrecked on an island of marshmallows created by milibrarian was clever and sounds delicious! And—particularly as a fellow cat-owner—morningwalker‘s cat box cake (complete with scoop!) amused me to no end. You are all far better bakers than I. Thanks so much for sharing your talents with us!

Labels: contest, contests, fun

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Welcome Alexander!

image1
Welcome to LibraryThing’s second baby of 2015, Alexander Stephen Krieger (Alex, or Sasha if you’re feeling fancy)! Alexander was born on March 9th—6lbs 5oz—to LibraryThing for Libraries’ Kate Krieger and her husband Adam.

Baby Alex is honored to share his birthday with Tim’s son Liam!

Labels: LibraryThing babies

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Welcome Hattie!

Welcome to Harriet Louise Topper Curtis! Harriet (or Hattie, as mom and dad like to call her) was born on January 6—8lbs., 6oz.—to LibraryThing Developer Mike Topper and his wife Eliza Curtis.

Hattie’s first few months have been exciting! She enjoys mornings, bouncing on a yoga ball, watching people eat with their mouth open, and not letting other people get any work done.

Labels: LibraryThing babies

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

April Early Reviewers batch is live!

The April 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 116 books this month, and a grand total of 3,030 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk!

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, April 27th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Beacon Press Crown Publishing Taylor Trade Publishing
Henry Holt and Company Lion Fiction Ashland Creek Press
Tundra Books Greenleaf Book Group Chronicle Books
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Flying Heron Books Quirk Books
Crux Publishing Medallion Press John Ott
In Fact Books Bards and Sages Publishing Small Beer Press
Candlewick Press Horrific Tales Publishing Velvet Morning Press
Grey Sun Press Ballantine Books Akashic Books
Prufrock Press EsKape Press Five Rivers Publishing
Open Books Random House CarTech Books
Post Mortem Press Books to Go Now Greyhart Press
Booktrope Recorded Books HighBridge Audio
About Face Press ForeEdge University Press of New England
Dartmouth College Press Brandeis University Press Northeastern University Press
BookViewCafe Cool Gus Publishing Sandra Jonas Publishing
Human Kinetics Plume Dragonwell Publishing
Bellevue Literary Press The Plaid Raccoon Press Algonquin Books
Plough Publishing House Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Chosen Books
Avery

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

LibraryThing’s 4th Annual Edible Books Contest

Spring has finally sprung, which means it’s time for our FOURTH annual Edible Books Contest! Members cooked up a delicious batch of literary confections and concoctions last year, and we’re expecting another strong showing for 2015.

The Rules

1. Create an “edible book.” We’re defining this broadly, so entries can include dishes:

  • referencing a book’s title or characters (puns are entirely welcome)
  • inspired by a book’s plot
  • in the shape of an actual book (or eBook, or scroll, etc.)
  • takeoffs on the LibraryThing logo

2. Document your masterpiece. At right is the grand-prize winner from last year’s contest, inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You can see other submissions from last year in the EdibleBooks2014 gallery (and here’s 2013 and 2012). If your creation is super realistic, take a photo cross section of your creation as you eat it!

3. Upload the photo to your LT member gallery. Sign in, then go here and click the “Add another picture” link to add the image.

4. When adding the image, be sure to tag it “EdibleBooks2015.” Yes, those capital letters are important. This will add your image to the contest gallery, and counts as your entry. If your photo doesn’t have that tag, we won’t know that you’ve entered. You can see current entries here.

5. Tell us about your literary inspiration—and how you made it—in the “Title/description” box

DEADLINE: The contest will run for just over three weeks. Add your photos by 6pm Eastern on Sunday, April 19th.

The Prizes

From all entries in the EdibleBooks2015 gallery, LibraryThing staff will choose the following winners:

Grand Prize (1)

  • $50 worth of books from Sherman’s Bookstore*
  • Your choice of LT t-shirt OR tote bag
  • An LT library stamp (your choice of classic, mini, or “clean” stamp)
  • A CueCat
  • An LT sticker
  • Two lifetime gift memberships
  • Great honor and prestige

Runners Up (2)

  • Your choice of one LT t-shirt, tote bag, stamp, or CueCat
  • Two lifetime gift memberships

As always, we will pick a few Honorable Mentions from the batch of entries. The more entries we receive, the more Honorable Mentions we can make—and all of them will get lifetime gift memberships, too.

Have fun, and good luck!

Fine Print: You can enter as many times as you like, but you can only win one prize. Your dish must be made of edible ingredients (no hats, lost-wax sculptures, performance art), and by entering the contest you certify that it is your own creation. Entries submitted to previous LibraryThing Edible Books contests will not be considered. All decisions as to winners and book prize slections will be made by LibraryThing staff, and our decisions are final. LibraryThing staff and family can enter, but can only be honored as prize-less runners-up. Any images you load stay yours, or you can release them under a copyleft license, but we get a standard “non-exclusive, perpetual” right to use them.

Questions? Comments? Post them over on Talk.


*Surprise books will be chosen by LibraryThing staff from Portland, ME’s indie bookstore, Sherman’s! We’ll make our selections based on the winner’s library/wishlist.

Labels: contest, contests, fun